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Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding, and Teaching Children with Asperger's Syndrome Paperback – 15 May 2012


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Asperkids: An Insider's Guide to Loving, Understanding, and Teaching Children with Asperger's Syndrome + The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens With Asperger Syndrome + Dude, I'm An Aspie! Kids' Edition
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub (15 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849059020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849059022
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Review

Jennfier is in a unique position to write this book. Not only are her kids on the spectrum, so are she and hubby. In addition, she is a school teacher. That makes for a pretty encompassiong view on what it means to be on the spectrum, raise a child on the spectrum and teach a child on spectrum... This book is full of insight and simple useful tips... If you are the parent or teacher of a child on the spectrum, I highly recomment it. -- Aunt Aspie's Book of the Month! (... )her first book, was so innovative and refreshing... Jen cleverly uses the quick Aspie mind to its own advantage by encouraging analysis and insight... If you have a child with Asperger's or high-functioning autism, it'll have much the same effect as an invigorating run along the beach. -- Aukids The book contains many practical suggestions for educating children with Asperger syndrome at home. O'Toole analyses the difficulties and challenges with perception and insight, showing how to help children for whom everyday activities may be upsetting and incomprehensible. -- HEAS Asperkids has LOTS of practical ideas that will really help kids on the spectrum. I completely agree that using a child's passion is the best way to motivate learning. -- Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures A mother with Asperger syndrome (AS) and three Aspie children, O'Toole is uniquely situated to understand the best ways to approach parenting and teaching youths with AS... O'Toole approaches the Aspie lifestyle with a great deal of humor and insight. She's particularly good at explaining the hurdles Aspie children face daily as they navigate school and social settings, and she helps readers see the world the way anyone with AS does. The result is an easy-to-read guide to interacting with Aspie children, replete with additional resources and references. -- Library Journal Reviews Full of effective and enjoyable ways to engage (such) children, and offers guidance and insight to other parents, as well as teachers and other practitioners. -- Young Minds Magazine Her book presents an insider's perspective into the world of Asperger syndrome which would be very helpful to anyone who seeks to understand the condition. Many effective and original ways of engaging with Asperger children are presented. -- HEAS (Homes Education Advisory Service) Within seconds of opening the book I had shed a few tears, and later, as I continued reading in the bath (...) I had several more unexpected cries. These were all moments of pure recognition, and with each one came a mixture of joy, release and relief. Not only does O'Toole describe so many ways of being that sound just like my little L, but I could also connect with much of what she said about being a Mum. Not only does this woman understand what it is to be an Aspie (she is one), she also understands what it is to be the parent of one (she has there) and the wife of one. What could top that in terms of a well-rounded viewpoint?... O'Toole accurately grasps my hopes for L and his future, that he can move forward with an understanding and pride in himself, and that he will see the positive aspects to having those Spectrum qualities as well as some of the challenges he will inevitably face... I now feel that I've got a way in to L's mind which is so much more meaningful that the off-piste advice I am given by well-meaning but autism-ignorant professionals. One of my friends, who also has a son on the Spectrum, once commented that she wished she could see inside her son's head for a while. "Asperkids" and all it offers, may just be one way to do it. -- Loving Martians - Wordpress blog by Rebecca Mitchell I read this book in just two consecutive sittings - loved it!... As Aspie herself, Jenny is quite brilliant and as a teacher and parent she is doubly insightful into her own children's needs and how to help them. -- Netbuddy.co.uk Amazing. Jennifer's ability to share her Asperger perspective and explain what our kids need most in the home and in school is fantastic. She gets right to what matters and makes powerful points that have to be heard. On both a personal and a professional level, I say this is a book that needs to be on shelves everywhere. -- Meredith G. Bove, MBA, Educational Strategies Consultant and mother of a son with Asperger Syndrome, USA Jennifer provides a unique perspective into the world of Asperger syndrome - helping to put all the pieces together, with a little humor thrown in along the way. I will highly recommend this book to any Asper-parent to better understand their child's world and help them grow, learn, and develop based on their unique strengths. -- Courtney Enos, MS-OT, occupational therapist, Touchstone Therapy, North Carolina, USA Asperkids has touched my heart to its deepest core, brought tears to my eyes, knowledge to my mind and an in-depth understanding of Asperger Syndrome. It is beautifully written, easy to understand and incredibly sincere. I will most definitely stock the shelves of our psychological book store with this wonderful, insightful book. Kudos to Jennifer Cook O'Toole for her passion, love and knowledge of Asperger syndrome and her willingness and eagerness to share it with everyone. -- Diane Chartrand-Balcer, Purchasing Director for Insomnia Bookstore at Southeast Psychology, North Carolina, USA Fresh, honest, organic and raw insights - Jennifer has written a legacy for all those on the spectrum, inviting everyone into an intricate and delicious mindset of an Asperfamily's challenges and successes. This book is a literary feast of new and exciting creative ideas and strategies which are shared in a very unique conversational manner. This book may be the key to unlocking a new and successful way of teaching and communicating with persons on the spectrum. -- Josie Santomauro, mother of a son with Asperger syndrome, editor of Autism All-Stars: How We Use Our Autism and Asperger Traits to Shine in Life and co-author of Set for Success: Activities for Teaching Emotional, Social and Organisational Skills Jennifer Cook O'Toole's personal understanding of the Asperger 'profile' makes Asperkids a fascinating read. In it she gives a wealth of exciting and innovative 'detours' around the challenges of AS and has provided a book full of lively and enthusiastic ideas to get you really enjoying working with your Asperger child. This is one of the most respectful books about teaching children with Asperger syndrome I have read and I thoroughly recommend it. -- Clare Lawrence, teacher, autism worker, mother, and author of Autism and Flexischooling: A Shared Classroom and Homeschooling Approach and How to Make School Make Sense: A Parents' Guide to Helping the Child with Asperger Syndrome Asperkids is brilliant! Not only is Jennifer an inspiring person, she's an Aspermom out to make a difference. Her passion to educate the NT world about Aspies shines through. Many Asperkids, and their families, will benefit from her personal insight. I am convinced this book will make a positive impact. -- Julie Clark, author of Asperger's in Pink: Pearls of Wisdom from Inside the Bubble of Raising a Child with Asperger's As a neurotypical mom with two kids with Asperger syndrome, Asperkids gave me an inside look into the minds of my own children. Jennifer's unique viewpoint really helped me understand how I can communicate better with my kids, support their talents, and help them navigate the world. Asperkids should serve as a touchstone for parents and teachers alike. I'll definitely be sharing this book! -- Joslyn Gray, autism advocate and author of the blog stark. raving. mad. mommy. Just a few pages into Asperkids, I knew I was reading something special... O'Toole is the real deal bundle of experience and knowledge our Asperger community can turn to for compassionate understanding and wise advice. -- from the Foreword by Liane Holliday Willey, EdD, author of Pretending to be Normal and Asperger Safety Skills for Women reading [O'Toole's] book is making me understand more how his brain is wired and I am learning SO much. -- Elizabeth Conner, mother of a child with Asperger syndrome Asperkids by Jennifer Cook O'Toole is a no-brainer to include as required reading in any education, medical, or therapy college or university program... This book addresses much more than diagnosis and treatment guidelines. If you changed the title, it could be a manual on how to respect and understand the teaching-learning experience and teach in a way that children will not only learn from, but love. The concepts of learning styles, instructional styles, engagement, thematic teaching, humor, developmental approach, differentiated instruction, structuring environments for learning, the fun factor, empathy, positive energy, balancing the environment with multisensory opportunities, and much more are presented in a fun and easy-to-learn style that will stay with students into their careers. I love Asperkids and cannot wait to share it with my Occupational Therapy students this semester. -- Toni Schulken, MS, OTR/L, Pathways for Learning

About the Author

Jennifer Cook O'Toole is the 2012 winner of the Temple Grandin Award, the GRASP DSM Medal, and a nominee for Disney's American Teacher of the Year Award. Beside the accolades, though, Jennifer has Asperger Syndrome and is the mother to three young Aspie children. She graduated from Brown University, and attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Social Work. She has previously worked as a social worker, and a teacher in both special needs and mainstream education. She regularly gives presentations on special needs parenting. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on 29 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received this item a few months ago and cannot tell you what a difference it has made to my family. My son is just about to be diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and at the age of 7 he is already proud and loud about it thanks to Asperkids. The message of this book is so positive without in any way underestimating some of the challenges that Asperger's can bring. The author herself has Asperger's so is able to let the rest of us into the mind of our Asperkids in a way that no-one else can. That insight is so so valuable. I loved the section on how to use your child's special interests to engage them and Jennifer Cook O'Toole has so many ideas on how to help with learning (also having a background in teaching). The book feels so generous and I am so glad she took the time to write it. I can't wait for the next books to come. I feel I've been lifted up out of the fog and shown the light. I would recommend this book to anyone with a child with High Functioning Autism/Asperger Syndrome who wants to learn to bridge the gap and reach out and embrace their child's Asperger's.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By rockfish on 14 Feb. 2013
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This book promises much but in my view, fails to deliver. It perpetuates a myth that kids with Asperger Syndrome are all budding geniuses just waiting to find their niche. The author clearly holds herself in very high regard (there are numerous self-congratulatory passages throughout the book) and one is left thinking that what is being described is a family that has been very gently impacted by AS rather than one that has been turned upside down by it. O'Toole concedes that every AS child is different, but her tips and advice don't take these differences into account. It might work very well for her daughter to be taught inventively about 'math' by using visual materials drawn from the world of Greek mythology, but in my experience, many parents of AS children do not recognise such a scenario. What would have been useful (and what I suspect is way outside of O'Toole's experiences) would have been some empathy and advice for parents who have AS children who flatly refuse to learn in the home environment, and cannot find appropriate provision outside of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philippa on 5 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It really helps you get inside the head of your Aspie kid, and Jennifer Cook is so positive about it, it has really helped my relationship with my son, and my acceptance of the diagnosis.

The reason I didn't give it 5*, is that she bangs on a bit about home schooling, and how brilliant she is, and both those things annoy me: I could never home school my children - but it could therefore be a good resource for teachers too
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ErmasDaughter on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
As a mother with a boy very similar to the authors, I found this book enormously insightful. Her writing style belies her Aspergian status - she can certainly get pedantic. But there are real, helpful insights in this book. Particular experiences written with such clarity as to crystalize those frustratingly subtle behaviors that make Aspergers virtually invisible to the neurotypical world.

I would recommend this for anyone dealing with Aspie kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan Bryan on 21 Mar. 2013
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This book has helped introduce me to the world where our son resides. The author has shown us how information we think we are imparting can often be misconstrued or lost when dealing with an Aspie. She got us to think a little more from our son's point of view/mindset and how to get info across so that he "gets it". This book has been invaluable to me.
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Bought this after my 8 year old was diagnosed and I'm so glad I did. Jennifer's love for her children shines through every page. I empathised so much with her and her journey that it made me cry many times...nut in a good way!
I had been contemplating home educating my daughter and this book helped me to understand how she thinks and learns. It took the fear out of my potential decision, but in the end we moved and she is now thriving in a main stream school with wonderful, wonderful teachers who understand her differences and let her learn in her own way.
Jennifer also has a Facebook page which is very helpful and supportive. When I wrote to tell her of our situation and how her book had helped, she took the time to reply which again is testament to what a lovely lady she is!
Buy the book!! I recommend it to any friends I meet who have newly diagnosed kids. Aside from Tony Attwoods book, this is my no.1 go-to Aspie understanding read!!
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I have 2 Aspie kids a girl and a boy, the boy diagnosed early the girl only just now at 14.5 years old. I took this book on holiday to read and research to see what I can do to help and nearly cried, It was like listening to a friend with infinites knowledge, wrought from person experience seeing it through the eyes of the child, Without this amazing insight it is so very hard to see as they see. I could not put it down and am now setting up a learning studio with my daughter for her specifics and one for my son to help them to be the very best they can be. I will also be advising the SENCO at the school of some ideas my daughter and son put forward that I feel will definitely be of benefit to both my children and the school, and hopefully to all other children who pass through under the radar. I am so delighted Jennifer put pen to paper from one Aspie Mum to another, THANK YOU>
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